Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Askari Report 1200 UTC 20th December 2016

Position 13 25 N 54 50 W
Course 280 degrees
Speed 7.0 knots
Wind East 22 knots
Distance in last 24 hours 179 miles

All is well out here and the closing distance to Barbados is very exciting - the challenge was put out last night on the radio net to start fishing again today, so we might all have fish for Christmas and make a competition of it. I haven't seen Andrew get the rod out yet though…..

As a treat (400 miles to go celebration) I had tried to make ice for our sundowners yesterday but sadly it didn't work - I think due to the movement. I am thinking one of my jobs for the day is to stock the fridge with arrival drinks….. hmmm champagne and beer perhaps!

The wind has generally eased, although did pick up for a few hours in the night, we had lots of squalls too, which is normal as the wind eases. This all means the swell is really taking its time to subside, so currently the movement on board is the worst it's been. When the wind and seas are matched Askari sits well but no yacht likes big sea and light wind.

Wildlife update - we have not seen any dolphins or whales, we have only had two flying fish on the deck and one hit the dinghy, however yesterday we had what looked like brown things with red tails swimming alongside the boat. We guessed they were cuttlefish or squid; they looked just like fishing lures, about a foot long. We did hear that Golden Breeze, who are 200 miles directly east of us, were followed by orcas for a couple of hours - so we are now on serious look out as that would be just incredible.

Currently we have a sailing yacht called Anita about 8 miles ahead of us, but due to the swell we only occasionally see them on AIS - the range typically is about 30 miles. We were also hoping to be in AIS range of Blue Roger this morning, as last night we were less than 40 miles apart but no sign just yet. I keep trying to tell Andrew we are not in a race - he doesn't agree and his favourite saying is 'what would Ross do?' referring to the skipper of Scarlet Oyster who makes record breaking Atlantic Crossings in his Oyster….. seriously, I am so glad we have the radio! (A it is a race- three fifty foot boats left La Gomera at the same time bound for barbados. obvious isnt it...)

Today we are listening to a music mix Ellen made for us for our Pacific Crossing 11 years ago - it's still one of favs and makes me feel very happy.

Only about 269 miles to Barbados……

Hiding inside from squalls

Just a little bit of sail

Mean squalls

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